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Fw: Emerging from Lurk--Wendy


Hello from SW Ohio, Group!

Since I see recent conversations about folks wanting lurkers to emerge,
I'm here with a little news about my garden.    

But first, my reasons for lurking oh so very quietly:  Hard drive crash,
with all-too-busy husband (household computer guru) insisting that he must
be the one to handle returning the CPU to the mfr. and setting up the
repaired/replaced machine.  The crash happened months ago, the old CPU hasn't
been shipped back, and I am  now using either a computer in the public library 
or hubby's Linux-based home computer (only hooked to the Web a few days
ago) to do an occasional mail check.  Can't really keep up with any of my
chat groups or forums using current resources, which is driving me batty!!!

As my neighbor Bonnie has probably written, we've had a very wet summer
compared to our usual, but since I can reach into my beds without walking on
them, the moist soil has been a blessing with all the weeds I've had to
pull.  I grow perennials, normally well mulched perennials, but this spring, I 
didn't replace my mulch, and have been playing catch-up ever since.  What
a mess!  <wry grin> This has been the Summer of the Weed for me.  My
Russian Sage has also been spreading into areas where it isn't wanted.  I bought
a Weedstick for selectively apply herbicide in tight spots, but have yet to 
get organized and try it out.

Every spring, I add several flats of plants to the landscape.  This year,
I added Antennaria tomentosa (pussytoes) for a tough, mat-forming
groundcover in dry soil and full sun.  Visitors arrived to enjoy it two weeks ago: 
I found one or two American Painted Lady caterpillars on each plant,
handsome little devils with black bands alternating with yellow and white bands,
two white eyes on each black band, and two soft black hairs sticking out of 
red spots on the black bands.  I'm a nature nut, so I liked watching them
eat and let them stay, even though I expected they'd munch my new plants
down to nothing.  Surprise!  They didn't!  In a week to 10 days, every
caterpillar had disappeared, and I still had healthy Antennaria.  I imagine the
birds ate my fuzzy little guests?  Does the Painted Lady ever overwinter
this far north?

Other plants I added this year, besides "caterpillar casserole",  include
Heuchera "Mint Frost", Prunella "Pink Loveliness" (another tough
groundcover), Veronicas "Goodness Grows" and "Sunny Border Blue", and two own-root
climbing roses, "Handel" (gorgeous all-season bicolor, double blooms of white 
with strawberry pink edges) and "The Impressionist" (remontant, double
blooms that are rich yellow through the summer and turn orange in the fall
<drool!>).  So far, all seem to be doing well.  I start with small plants from 
nursery catalogs to keep my costs down, so the success or failure of this
year's additions will be easier to judge in the coming spring.

I have two, two-year-old own-root shrub roses that are failing miserably
this summer, "Scentimental". a fragrant, striped burgundy-and-cream rose,
and "The Victorian Lady", a brown-mauve rose.  As I always give my roses the
same rich, well-drained soil and regular watering to start with, I can
blame either the varieties or the weather.  Anybody had experience with these
roses that they'd care to share?   How about striped roses to compare to
"Scentimental"?

Well, you folks wouldn't believe what my husband's home office is like to
try to work in, but let's just say it's a little messy.  I have the
keyboard balanced on my lap because there's nowhere else to put it, and my back
and both hands are cramping <VBG>!  So I have to go now, but if anyone wants
to talk to me, please put my name in the subject line, and that will
guarantee I'll read the post in full next time I'm online.

Sorry for not holding up my end of the conversation.  I love this group
and will certainly try to be a little more present.

Greenly yours, 

Wendy

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